The Federal Government on Thursday dangled a sum of N36 million to any Nigerian scientist who develops a vaccine to stem the scourge of Coronavirus (COVID-19) currently ravaging some parts of the world.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, who announced this in Abuja at the send-off for a retiring director of Chemical Technology Department in the ministry, Engineer Akinyemi Oyefeso, further said the prize sum is available for whoever develops the vaccine for Lassa fever virus whose cases are reported in some states in the country.
He, therefore, challenged Nigerian inventors, innovators and scientists to find a cure for various diseases proving intractable, saying Nigeria is well-endowed with both human and material resources to surmount them.
Dr Onu said Nigerian scientists are highly rated and expressed optimism that in no distant time, the country would make key contributions in so many areas of science and technology to the delight of the entire world.
The minister then commended the celebrant, Engineer Oyefeso, for his various innovations when he held the fort as a director in the ministry.
According to him: “We will need your expertise and service in future because you have so much to offer the nation.”
He advised the entire staff and management of the ministry to rise up to the challenge of a knowledge-based economy being stridently pursued by the present administration.